In 1936, a group of northwestern Ohio farmers decided to take advantage of a federal program offered by the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) and form an electric cooperative. They named the cooperative North Western Electric and its purpose was to provide electricity for the people of rural Williams and Defiance counties. In January of 1938, the distribution lines were energized for the first time. At that time, customers only used about 40 KWH per month. Today, that total average is nearly 1,100 KWH.
North Western serves 6,050 customers with a system consisting of 69 miles of high voltage transmission lines, 863 miles of overhead distribution lines and 125 miles of underground distribution lines. Nine substations, ranging in size from 2,500 KVA to 10,000 KVA, keep the electricity flowing.